Jamie Lee on Living Outside of the Box
Jamie Lee is a professional speed flyer and is dedicated to a life in the skies, traveling to the most surreal places in nature, protecting our environment, and living a life outside of the box that he is passionate and excited about every day.
It all began nine years ago when Jamie was 19, when himself and a group of his friends, based in New Zealand, decided to get skydiving diplomas over the course of 6 months and 200 skydiving drops. When asked where he got the motivation to chase this dream, Jamie says “I never really saw myself being suitable or able to be conditioned into the normal way that people live. I sort of wanted to live on a more free schedule and do something that was amazing and enjoyable every day.” From there, it all clicked for Jamie and the rest is history.
“I never really saw myself being suitable or able to be conditioned into the normal way that people live. I sort of wanted to live on a more free schedule and do something that was amazing and enjoyable every day.” - Jamie Lee
In New Zealand, Jamie explained that the tourism industry is booming, so the government funds a lot of adventure sports programs that entice tourists, including skydiving. He says that this government support seemed to provide an advantage and a stability factor for Jamie. It allowed him to feel comfortable chasing the out-of-the-box career that he longed for.
The story of how Jamie discovered his passion for speed flying was not some grand revelation story. It sort of just popped up, as he describes it. One day, his skydiving instructor took the class to a hill with their parachutes on and taught them the proper technique to run and jump off the hills. This was the very moment that sparked Jamie’s speed flying passion. He explains how speed flying just made more sense to him and was more accessible because you launch with your feet rather than from a plane. Jamie also cherishes the intimate personal experience that comes with speed flying. He describes how a person is much more immersed in nature while speed flying as well as “the freedom and the space of it is just magic.”
“The freedom and the space of it is just magic.” - Jamie Lee
At the beginning of his speed flying journey, Jamie would spend countless hours at the beach with his parachute soaring from sand dune to sand dune learning how to control his weight in the air and practicing safe launches and landings. After years of dedication, Jamie worked his way up to jumping from some of the most surreal places in nature, from mountains to wide-open spaces all over the world. As a speed flyer becomes more experienced and talented at the sport, they can progressively fly with much smaller and more aerodynamic wings allowing them to fly much faster. Jamie can now fly up to 90 mph through the air. His commitment over the past 9 years has taught Jamie a lot about himself and what he is able to accomplish, but it has also been a blast for him to live this lifestyle.
For the past 7 years, Jamie has been living a lifestyle where he would split his year between working in New Zealand for 6 months and then traveling all over the world to speed fly for the other 6 months. This lifestyle Jamie has worked so hard for has gifted him with the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world. He has experienced new cultures, made lifelong friends, seen surreal places in nature that he never dreamed of visiting, all while pursuing his passion of speed flying almost every day. Jamie has also made content for GoPro and been featured in the Netflix film Magnetic, just to name a few of his professional accomplishments.
“It gives you a whole new perspective on just the presence of your consciousness being in space.” - Jamie Lee
Jamie’s nomad lifestyle, along with speed flying, has given him a chance to gain a new perspective on the world. Along with learning how much a person can accomplish if they devote themselves to a passion, Jamie has found a deep appreciation for nature. Rather than focusing on the adrenaline rush that comes with speed flying, Jamie has learned to spend his time soaring through the air in gratitude for the beautiful nature around him as well as being in a state of personal meditation. He explains, “It gives you a whole new perspective on just the presence of your consciousness being in space.”
The peaceful, unified mindset Jamie finds in speed flying has pushed him to turn to a new leaf in his journey. He has come to realize how important it is that humans take better care of the world and the environment we are living in. Jamie has decided to localize himself and his speed flying endeavors for the foreseeable future, not just because of the global pandemic, but also because he knows the harsh impact that traveling by airplane can have on the environment. He is working to live a more sustainable life and set an example for people around him to consider the weight that all our actions carry in regard to pollution. It is up to us every day to make choices that are eco-friendly and have the best interest of our home planet in mind.
Thank you, Jamie, for taking the time to share your story! If you would like to follow along with Jamie as he flies through the skies, check out his Instagram linked below.
Written by: Anna Rice
Interview by: Jason Crowe